Saturday, November 05, 2005
FRENCH CAR-B-Q CONTINUES
A newspaper editor discusses the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina:
The Government probably wasn’t prepared enough, didn’t know what to do, still probably finds it very difficult to deal with this situation and firstly and most importantly it took a few days before they realised that they really had a major crisis on their hands.
It is an established fact that youths from the housing estates, who are mostly French citizens, often face blatant discrimination as soon as they present a foreign-looking face or name to a prospective employer or landlord ...
Excluded from a political system firmly in the hands of white men, the more ambitious in the suburbs create self-help associations only to find the authorities criticizing them as unacceptably ethnic because they have “Muslim” in their names.
National debates about the integration of immigrants or the separation of church and state usually end up with Paris reaffirming a strictly French way of doing things, such as barring any religious symbols in state schools.
This angers youths of immigrant origin who feel they have already made many efforts to integrate but the French majority does little to reciprocate.
The French majority previously considered these matters under control:
Back in the 1990s, the French sneered at America for the Los Angeles riots. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 1992: “the consensus of French pundits is that something on the scale of the Los Angeles riots could not happen here, mainly because France is a more humane, less racist place with a much stronger commitment to social welfare programs.” President Mitterrand, the Washington Post reported in 1992, blamed the riots on the “conservative society” that Presidents Reagan and Bush had created and said France is different because it “is the country where the level of social protection is the highest in the world."
A 56-year-old physically disabled woman was being treated in the burns unit of a Paris hospital yesterday after the bus she was travelling in was set alight by youths in the northern suburb of Sevran.
What was that Reuters line about youths of immigrant origin feeling “they have already made many efforts to integrate”? The emirs tell a different story:
“All we demand is to be left alone,” said Mouloud Dahmani, one of the local “emirs” engaged in negotiations to persuade the French to withdraw the police and allow a committee of sheikhs, mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood, to negotiate an end to the hostilities.
Good luck with that.
Officials in Seine Saint Denis say 187 vehicles have been destroyed there overnight.
French media report up to 600 vehicles have been destroyed in the whole greater Paris region, including 23 buses at a terminal in Trappes in the south-west near Versailles.
Police have detained 27 people and reported two injuries.
They say a total of 1,260 vehicles have been destroyed in the greater Paris region since riots began last week, with more than half torched in Seine Saint Denis alone.
Question: does the pollution caused by all these car torchings (some 20,000 since the start of 2005) count towards France’s Kyoto fume allowance? Or is only industrial pollution measured?